26 September 2008

"We're doing worst first dates."

I win! Ok, it was a minor league hockey game. He brought his brother, and when I went to the bathroom, the game ended and they forgot about me.
(Pam, "The Client", Season Two of The Office)

I work in an office full of many single people. We spend a lot of time talking about dating. This is really unique to BYU, I know, but what can you do? That potentially awful time of life where you're in a feast or a famine - it starts to feel a lot like clothes shopping to me. You go into the store with an idea of what you would like, but you grab lots of clothes anyway if they look like they might work/are the right price, and then you try them on in front of a mirror. Sometimes you get an opinion. If you're me you put them all back. Some people buy a ton. I don't know. Maybe the metaphor is flawed. But I've been thinking about what makes a good first date - and here's my list.

1. Short. I don't think there's much reason at all for a first date to go beyond an hour or so. It's really all you need. A nice event (ie, dinner) that involves talking to one another. Something that is planned but not over planned. I don't think it's fair for guys to put so much pressure on themselves to come up with WAY CREATIVE first dates. It puts undue pressure on the girl to say yes again and it takes too much effort on the part of the guy. Besides - after about an hour or so, you more or less know if you're interested in seeing that person again.

2. Promptness: This is the situation that inspired the post in the first place. Hypothetical Guy asks Hypothetical Girl out on a date. Girl says yes. Guy does not call girl for more than a month. Guy calls girl on a Wednesday for the following Friday. Girl says yes. Guy says that he will call girl on Thursday after he figures out what they are doing and that Girl should plan on something around 7:00 Friday. Girl does not hear from Guy until approximately 4:30 the following Friday. Girl not so cleverly tells Guy that she has other things to do. See - here's the thing. Maybe this is picky, but I don't really think so. If a guy is interested in the girl and he asks for her number - he has about a week (maybe two) of grace period with which to use the number. This doesn't mean that he has to take her out in that oneish week - but some kind of contact to let the girl know he is still interested would be nice. Furthermore, dates should be planned before calling to schedule, and the guy should followup. It's courteous. Not to mention that the girl needs to know how to dress/if she should eat/what time she will be back, etc. If this is me being anal, then so be it. But for a first date or so - spontaneous activities don't so much fly.

3. Groups are nice: I'm a big fan of first dates in groups, generally speaking. It takes pressure off everyone involved and kind of relaxes you into behaving more like yourself. At least it does for me. I always feel a little bit too much under the magnifying glass on a first date alone with someone I don't know all that well. If you've known the person longer, it wouldn't be a big deal.

4. Planned in advance: I mentioned this already in number two, but have something in mind already. Maybe even a few things. One of the nicest things a guy ever did for me on a first date proposal was options. He had two equally great (and unique but not over the top) ideas in mind and he let me choose. It was probably the best first date I ever went on.

5. Post date - if you're interested in going out again - you've got that two weekish grace period back. And say thank you, even if you aren't interested in going out again. I like it when I hear my roommates calling to thank their dates for taking time for them. Again - this is kind of picky, but it's about courtesy.

Long story short: It's all about courtesy on that first impression. So, sorry to the (Not so) Hypothetical Guy that I'm ditching on tonight. But I've got a paper due on Monday and about 300 pages of reading to do and. . . I'm not going to wait around for you to remember me.


Diane Adams said...

Way to lay it out, there, Girl. Sorry the pre-game plans didn't work out better. I don't know what's worse, having plans fall through or not having the opportunity to "have plans" at all. Good luck on your paper!

robryan said...

I like that you outlined everything, it's almost like a formula. I will probably send the next guy who appears interested in me to this post and tell him once he has all the basics down he can ask me... or not...

Rachel EM said...

You prefer group first dates? Yikes! Not me. No faster way for Rachel to be NOT herself than to put her in a crowd of people. One on one is my style in just about any situation, though. I wasn't exposed to crowds as a child. ANYWHO-- I agree with everything else.

You are SPOT ON with the short-bit. Short short short short. Can't say this enough.